Too many child stars end up turning to drugs and Todd Bridges was no exception. The “Diff’rent Strokes” star became addicted to crack cocaine and meth, and in 1989 he faced attempted murder charges after being accused of shooting a drug dealer. After subsequently being acquitted, Todd decided to turn his life around and has now been clean for over two decades. And now he answers your questions!
Jenny Biller Keech Do you have children (teens?)? If so, what advice do you have about making good life choices?
Yes, I have two kids. A fifteen-year-old girl and a fourteen-year-old son. I explain to them that the choices they make now can directly affect who you are in the future. I use my personal life and experiences as an example for them.
Cathy VonNordeck Hughes What was the turning point for you to get clean? I lost my son to a heroin overdose and I wish I could have saved him. God Bless you and your family.
The turning point in my life is when I got tired of doing the same thing and getting the same results over and over. That day that everything changed for me was January 23, 1993. So sorry about your loss – God be with you all.
Mark Blaine Todd I was wondering what your relationship is like with both of your parents today and did they live off your TV success and take your earnings like the Colemans did to Gary?
My relationship with my mom is amazing. My father passed in 1996. I did not have the best relationship with my dad but we resolved everything before his passing. My parents overall were very supportive and never did anything to take advantage of me.
Rebecca Houston What is the best way to support an addict who is recovering?
The best way to support someone who is in recovery is to number one, stay supportive, number two, ask them to help you understand, and number three, attend meetings with them.
Trina Slade-Burks How do you help an addicted individual come to terms that they are indeed truly an addict?
I feel they have to come to terms with it themselves. My biggest advice would be to continue to push them to go to rehab, but they have to be ready.
Kelli Jo Griffin Do you still go to meetings? if not what do you do for relapse prevention?
Yes, I still go to meetings, 3 times a month.
Sharon Brumley I have worked as a victim advocate in my county’s prosecutor’s office for 11 years. I work with victims of felony crimes. Although drug/alcohol addiction probably touch in someway, 80% of the cases I work on, it was what you said about being molested that I wanted to address. You said you were molested and your father didn’t believe you. I work on everything from murder to rape but nothing saddens me more or infuriates me more than the number of cases I work on where mom &/or dad don’t believe the child who has been molested…it is a huge problem! Most of the time the perp is mom’s boyfriend & she chooses him over her child. Any thoughts on how to address this? In what forum could this be addressed BEFORE the child is raped? I think it would be so helpful to have someone like you to speak on this.
It’s very difficult when your parents don’t believe you. The best thing to do is for the child to continue to tell the parents and tell other adults and most importantly, understand that it’s not your fault.
Susan Gilliam I know that you said you was molested as a child, what is your advice to people who been through that. I was one of them.
You have to make sure you understand that you are a victim. It is not your fault. You should immediately – I encourage all kids to tell someone so that they can prevent this from happening to other kids. Remember, it’s not your fault.